I noticed that people are searching following things in Google:
- How to Improve Pronunciation Skills in English?
- How to Improve Pronunciation Skills in French?
- How to Improve Pronunciation Skills in Spanish?
- And you name the language.
I could write an article to help you in each of these languages specifically but instead, I wanted to make on article How to Improve Pronunciation Skills in Any Language?
I know that there are differences in pronunciation between these languages but there are also some general principles that you can apply to any language. Whether you are studying Chinese, English, African tribe language or even my native language Finnish.
In this article, I have collected awesome resources and tips from the best language learners in the world.
1.Benny Lewis, “Speak from Day 1“
Have you probably heard of the world’s most famous language guru Benny Lewis? When he was 21 years old, he only spoke his native language. After 10 years, he speaks around 15 languages fluently. What made this huge difference? How did he learn to speak so many languages as an adult?
At school, he had learned that if you want to learn a new language, you need to go to a language course. Then some language teacher will fall the language knowledge into your brain during the lessons. The result was that he was able to learn 0 languages after 10 years of studying.
Then he met a polyglot who said that you just need to start speaking. Don’t worry about mistakes. The rest is history.
=> If you want to learn to speak a new language fluently, you need to start speaking it today.
2.Use Mimic Method by Idahossa Ness
Do you know Idahossa Ness? He is a language guru who is constantly mistaken as a French, Spanish, German or even Chinese native speaker. It’s common that people learn to speak a language somehow but it’s rarer that you start to sound like a native speaker.
Idahossa knows how you can sound like a native.
He created his famous Mimic Method which is a highly interesting way to improve your pronunciation skills. You can learn more about Mimic Method here.
3.Listen to Podcasts
Can you improve your pronunciation skills by listening? Yes, you can.
How do children learn to speak a new language? First, they listen how adults are speaking and then they just repeat it. That’s the fastest way for most adults to learn languages as well. Podcasts are a great way to improve your pronunciation because you will hear when native speakers are talking.
You can easily find podcasts for almost any language in the world. I have collected a list of the best French podcasts on my website.
Then I highly recommend the LanguagePod101. They have a language podcasts for many different languages and their service is one of the most famous and successful podcasts in the world. Would you like to learn some of these languages? German, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese.
4.Become a Friend with a Native Speaker
With the Internet, you can easily connect with people from any nationality in the world in just a few minutes. You can find Spanish, French, (LOTS OF) Chinese, English, Swedish, Turkish, Indonesian, Icelandic online in a moment.
The best thing for us language students is that we can also find native speakers who are studying your own language. I can, for example, find Spanish or German native speakers who are studying Finnish (even though Finnish is quite a rare language).
I didn’t know about this opportunity a few years ago and I guess that many of my readers don’t know about it as well. Then I found a language community called Italki. There are native speakers of any language that you can imagine and people are friendly.
Another way to connect with other language students is Hellotalk. If you are living in a big city, you can also find events and MeetUps for language learners. It’s usually even more interesting and fun to meet other language students live rather than online.
What do you think?
5.Play Language Games
This isn’t so obvious idea when you are thinking of ways to improve the pronunciation. But it can be very effective.
A language guru Steve Kaufman (speaks 16 languages fluently) has learned to speak several languages with a language game called LingQ. He was thinking of faster and more effective ways to learn languages so he created that game. There are several ways to practice your skills by using LingQ. You can use it for free even though they have also a premium membership for committed students.
There are also many other helpful games. If you are living in the U.S. you have probably seen ads of Rosetta Stone. Or what about one of the most famous language games in the world, Duolingo.
What do you think about improving pronunciation skills with language games? My own experience says that it can be a great strategy, especially for beginners.
Many times we don’t pay attention in a way we are speaking and pronouncing words. That’s why it can be interesting to take a recorder and listen to your own pronunciation. If you have a smartphone or a laptop, you already have a device to record yourself.
But what would you speak when you are recording?
It depends on your current level but here are some ideas.
- Imagine that you are in a supermarket and looking for some product. How could you ask it from a salesperson? Then record the conversation.
- You meet a new person and you want to introduce yourself and ask a couple of basic questions from him.
- Take examples of a textbook and read those conversations.
- You can also Google for a test in your target language and read them out loud.
- Tell about your day for 2-3 minutes.
- Describe your good friend.
- Describe where would you like to travel next and why.
You can do these exercises also together with a language partner. Then listen to your recordings and analyze what could you improve. Next time you can pay attention to those things or watch tutorials how you can improve the pronunciation of some specific words.
You can also send a recording to your friend and ask for his opinion. This is pretty easy through many apps on a smartphone.
7.Practice Specific Letters or Words
In every language, there are some letter, words or sentences that are a bit challenging. There’s nothing bad and you can for sure learn them all with practice.
These can be, for example, pronouncing “R” in Spanish or French. Squirrel or handkerchief may be challenging for non-English native speakers.What is my advice for learning this kind of “challenging” words?
I am a living example that you can learn anything you want if you just practice enough. I recommend that you search on Google or YouTube for example, “how to pronounce French R” and then listen to a few tutorials.
Sometimes you learn it right away, sometimes it takes more time. But it will come over the time course.
Anyway, different pronunciations and accents are nothing bad at all. Finnish people say that they love Italian-English accent. They call it “sexy” even though it’s not “the right English”.
Everybody has a little bit different accent and pronunciation even though they would be native speakers. Differences are not bad but they make the world beautiful.
Conclusion – What Is a Key to a Better Pronunciation?
I have shown you 7 ways to improving your pronunciation. I hope and believe that you have liked them. Your next step is to put them powerfully into action. You will learn a new language by making mistakes, actually lots of mistakes. So, the most important step is to start and keep on going.
What kind of action are you going to take today to improve your pronunciation?
Leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to reply you personally.
I am Danish but currently living in Beijing. I Have been learning Chinese a few hours each week for more than a year now. It is a really hard language to learn lol, but also so interesting because of their characters.
You got some awesome tips here and I will implement them asap!
I am happy that you are learning Chinese. I have only studied some basics of Chinese but probably more in the future.
Benny Lewis among other language students teaches that Chinese is quite easy with right methods.
I am sure that when you start implementing the methods that you learn on our website, Chinese will be a piece of cake for you. Of course, any language requires practice but you will learn it for sure. I believe in you.
Thanks for all the great resources for people learning a new language. I’ve been studying French, but have been struggling with the pronunciation as I have been progressing past the basics.
Now that I’ve found this site I’m sure I’ve found a way to get past this frustrating roadblock in my learning.
practice makes progress. Pick one of these resources and use it a lot. Then move to the next one and so on. When you practice enough, you will become a fluent speaker in French.
Let me know if you need any help.
I’m an Australian guy who has lived in China for ten years, my Chinese is virtually zero. I know what I have to do to learn, it is very basic but putting aside some time each day just hasn’t happened for me ..
I need some inspiration and where I can find it god only knows. however, this post has inspired me and I feel like I ‘m ready to have a go
I know the feeling what you are talking about. I have lived now for 8 months in Austria but I haven’t made it a priority to learn German. Still, I have caught something here and there and now I am able to maintain conversations in German. I see some progress.
However, if one wants really to learn a language, it must be a clear goal. Then we will find time and resources to learn it. But i it must be a priority. Otherwise, we will always find all other things to do.
I do feel for you, personally I find Chinese language to be very difficult to learn. Most times, my interaction with Chinese language has only been through their movie culture and I find it absolutely difficult to try and mimic their language.
For the record, I even find Korean language more easier to learn than Chinese.
I will publish a post of a wonderful Chinese learning resource during the following days. My close friend has explained me it’s the best resource for learning Chinese and he was willing to write a post to my blog about it. Stay tuned! I’ll post it soon. 🙂
When I read this blog I imagine and conceptualize my experience on living in a different culture and languages. There is some awkward feeling when you hear some words that you may distinguish if in it bad or good meant to you.
yeah, there may be so-called “awkward” situations but that’s not a problem. That’s life and you just keep on going forward. I rather think awkward moments as funny moments nowadays 😉
Like one famous book title says, “Feel the fear. And do it anyway.”
I like your blog because it gives tips to improve my pronunciation skills and my communication skills, Thank you because it boosts my self confidence and inspire me to communicate to other people.
I’m glad you like it Johann. Let me know if you have any requests for future posts 🙂
Hello, I’ve always wanted to get my english to the point where everyone can understand and where i won’t make any grammar mistakes.
Fortunately, I found this blog and it really gives me a motivation to do what i said before.
I’m glad I’m able to help you to improve your grammar skills. Recently I found another great service called Speechling. I’m sure it will help you also with your pronunciation. (I’ll add it also to this article).
As obvious as it seems, one of the most important things is to learn the alphabet and the sound of each letter. It seems strange, but one of my biggest faults with my Spanish is when I make vowel sounds that do not actually exist in Spanish, only in English.
I like some of your ideas, especially playing games in a different language, it is almost silly how fast you can pick up a lot of vocabularies just by listening to games. it is even better if you also play the game in your native language but go back and forth.
Yeah, Spanish and English quite a different pronunciation even though the vocabulary is similar (almost the same in many cases). For me, it was easy to learn Spanish pronunciation because the words are pronounced as they are written which is the same like in my native language Finnish.
Language games are definitely a wonderful resource for language learners. They are fun to use especially if you like games like I do. You don’t even feel like studying because it can be so fun to play them.
I want to became fluent in my English grammar and pronunciation to improve my English public speaking. Thanks for this useful blog. 🙂
Here in Asia we Filipinos are good when it comes to English language, some of our artists and singers can fluently sing a English song. For me personally I need to improve my English language because here in the Philippines when you became a professional you need to be good in English.
So thanks for this tips that you shared to us! If i have given a chance to learn another language i will probably choose Spanish, why? it feels like awesome when you talk like Spaniards.
Spanish sounds awesome, you are right. I’m now in Lisbon in the conference and I’ve met some Argentinians so it was nice to talk a little bit in Spanish as well.
By the way, check out this resource for learning Spanish. I was amazed how good it is,
Yes sir Roope thanks for this review again. 🙂
Your blog was so awesome. I’m very inspired so much. I think Spanish was the easy one to learn. It could be awesome If I master Spanish. I wish I looked like a Spaniard someday. It sounds very cool.
I’m glad to hear that my article inspired you.
If you are interested in learning Spanish, I bet you would like to try Baselang. It’s probably the best Spanish learning resource that I’ve found in the whole Internet.
More and more, you always help people that want to learn new languages discover ways that learning it can be quite interesting and these seven ways you outlined is one of it.
I think becoming a friend with a native speaker that also understand your language to an extent is a great way to go about it for most people that want to learn in a relaxed manner.
That’s true Henry. I improved my Spanish A LOT when I spoke with my Spanish friend daily for several months . Every day my pronunciation, vocabulary and overall understanding improved. That’s probably the most effective way to learn it.
I’m from the Philippines. I want to learn Chinese because Chinese I think it’s easy to pronounce. I will go to China soon so that I will encounter some Chinese people out there. Recently I am listening Chinese podcasts and I’m willing and trying to learn Chinese.
podcasts are a great way to improve your skills. I also used some podcast when I studied some basics of Chinese. What is the name of a Chinese podcast that you are listening?
I bet you would also be interested in Speechling. They have a wonderful tool for improving your Chinese skills.
I go to chineselearnonline.com podcasting guide. I guess this podcast would be starting kit for me. This podcast’s interface is very user-friendly. You can listen to the record and look through transcript at the same time. You can even choose between pinyin, traditional and simplified characters. I also like that they gradually increase the amount of Chinese speech in their podcast lessons (depending on your level).
Thank you very much for the resource Jayveeborres. I haven’t seen that website before but I will give it a closer look at perhaps write an article in the future.
I agree that this will help in improving and learning new languages. I will definitely follow this 7 resources. I always want to learn new language. And my first language I want to learn is Japanese. I can speak few japanese words just by watching anime. I hope I can improve more in speaking japanese language. Thank you for the tips you give in this blog.
Japanese is an interesting language. One of my best friends was studying it a few years ago because his dream is to go to Japan and do missionary work there.
Fluent in 3 months course has resources for learning Japanese. I bet you would enjoy and benefit from that information.
I definitely find listening to podcast very helpful in making one be good with pronouncing words. Also recording oneself seems to be pretty good as well.
I can still remember during my university days as a mass communication student, we had several presentation, seminar and live discussion that we carry out. I do make use recording myself to bring myself and confidence up to speed.
That’s wise. I haven’t so much really recorded my own speaking but I think I could have done it more. Speechling records your pronunciation automatically and lets you compare it with a native speaker.
Thanks Roope, I haven’t heard of Speechling before, I’m glad that you found it important to mention it to me. I will definitely see to making use of and discover how good it is.
I speak English language, however, English is a foreign language for me. In my experience of learning a new language, mastering pronouncation skills is the most difficult thing. You can learn a language easily, however, you may not pronounce the words properly, if you do not pronounce correctly, you might not be understood.
If people do not understand your spoken language, your motive of learning a language is failed. Therefore, it is imperative to develop pronouncation skills. Thanks for sharing this informative article.
If you study the language mainly from the books, you may have challenges with the pronunciation. However, if you use more audio based lessons, pronunciation will be easier for you. Speechling and Mimic Method can also hugely help you to learn the right pronunciation for the most common languages.
Talking with native speakers on websites like Italki will also help. In my experience the right pronunciation isn’t that hard once you get a little bit of experience. It’s all about practice.
You can learn a new language by reading language books. However, in order to become a better speaker, you need to practice. You can master your pronunciation skills by listening to the natives and repeating what they are speaking. I have tried to learn English pronunciation by watching the BBC TV and listening to the BBC radio.
Those are good ways. I guess you also watch many YouTube videos that improve your English skills (even though I think your English is already great! 🙂
I have used some of the techniques you have mentioned here. For instance, I listen to a podcast, listening is a great way to learn how the words are actually pronounced. being a friend with a native is also a great way to enhance your pronunciation. I read aloud and I recording my reading. When I go back to recording, I will know where I need to improve.
You’re a really diligent student then! 🙂
Thank you for this helpful tips. I haven’t considered speaking my own mother tongue from day 1 although I can translate everything. I think this is the only step I should start doing if I really want to know how to speak. I agree that being friends with a native speaker really helps because they can always teach and correct us when they have time.
Speaking in confidence really helps and listening to podcasts. 😀 I will look for podcasts in French and listen to them. Mimicking really works if the person you mimic doesn’t get offended and understands that you just want to learn.
Good points. Mimic Method is actually quite unique. They teach you the right sounds and all little details about the language pronunciation for your target language whether it’s French, Spanish, Chinese, etc.
I love how we can just sit back and learn new words from different languages.
Using podcasts is like listening to the radio. Only instead of hearing about news, politics, and other usually unpleasant stuff, you’re learning how to speak languages like Italian and many more.
I sometimes compare podcasts to basic audio lessons. The main difference seems to be that podcasts are more conversational and intuitive while audio lessons are more instructional and step-by-step.
That’s true! Podcasts are an awesome resource to learn languages in a relaxing way.
There are also podcasts that have step-by-step lessons. I listened one of them for learning French. It gradually taught more and more about grammar.
I guess learning languages is easier for you guys over there, over here in Nigeria it is reay difficult, the books get to be pirated with a whole lots of mistakes, and here you don’t get free internet access as you have to buy data to be able to browse. Sometimes I notice the some of the podcasts don’t come handy you have to buy them for some large amount of fee here, I wonder if it’s like this everywhere else.
I have the bad network challenge when trying to download some of the works on speaking other languages, is it really possible for you to learn languages and speak it fluently by just reading from books alone? I don’t think so. That means a person who wants to learn and speak languages have to follow the whole guidelines you listed, because one cannot do without the other.
My question now is this, How do you balance your timing to be able to follow this guidelines listed above? Some of us can be extremely busy everyday, sometimes we hardly have time for ourself to speak of because of busy schedules, What is the really easiest way of learning languages in between busy schedules?.
Take a look at my article, “How to Learn a Language Effectively? – Without Using a Minute of Your Time!
I am extremely active person but I still found 10 hours/week for learning French some time ago by using that “magic method”.
Some people also here complain that languages are hard but the reason is that they aren’t just using effective methods. I have seen so many people changing from, “Languages are hard!” to “Languages are easy!” when they found better methods for mastering languages.
Thanks for the recommendations. These are very good platforms to perfect ones pronunciation of words and also improve your general concept of language speaking. Am currently using one of these methods to learn a new language, French. I hope to be better at it than I did back in my school days at the end of the program.
May I ask which one of these programs are you using?
I want to thank you for providing these valuable tips. My favourite is tip number 3. There are so many podcasts available online, and this makes it easier to improve pronunciation in any language. You can pay attention to the way they speak, and this will help you pronounce certain words much more clearly.
That’s true. What are your favorite podcasts?